It has not been the ideal winter for those who enjoy outdoor activities like skiing and snowboarding. There is very little snow on the ground in some parts of southern Saskatchewan, but it is a completely different story if you take a quick drive up Highway 10 to Fort Qu’Appelle.
That is where you will find Mission Ridge Winter Park.
“We make all our own snow,” explained Don Williams, General Manager of Mission Ridge. “We’ve got between three and four feet of snow over the entire area.”
It has been an abnormally warm winter with temperatures consistently above average. On Feb. 6 there was even a downpour of rain and some spots in southern Saskatchewan, including Regina, broke a temperature record. That has helped increase the attendance at Mission Ridge.
“We had a really good Christmas this year, last year was very cold so we were frozen out of a lot of Christmas but this Christmas was really good, so we’re actually ahead of last year,” said Williams.
Williams expects this coming week to be a busy one at the park as students attending Regina public schools are away from class for the February break. He expects 500-600 people to visit each day.
“That will be above average because last year, again, we got frozen out that week,” Williams told News Talk Radio. “Last year was a pretty bad year with all the cold weather. I’m really enjoying this one.”
All Williams would like is a little snow to stick around Regina. He pointed out it has been a challenge to relay the message that Mission Ridge is in good shape despite the warm winter.
“It’s really hard to convince people that we have snow out here when the streets are so brown and dry in Regina,” said Williams.
The winter season started off slow for staff at Mission Ridge. It takes about ten consecutive cold days to blanket the entire park with snow. Williams said it was a struggle but they finally were able to get the snow to stick around.
It does not appear mother nature is going to help Mission Ridge in the near future. The forecast provided by Environment Canada shows some flurries are expected over the next week, but nothing major. Temperatures are also expected to rise to around the freezing mark Sunday and that should last until Friday.